SEEMS like Christmas week has lost its goodwill towards men - or at least - Lithgow.
It's the time of year in recent experience when nature turns nasty in a festive season tantrum.
Last Sunday a freak windstorm, described as a mini tornado, tore across Lithgow leaving a trail of destruction, most seriously the roof off the Glanmire hockey clubhouse and a house wrecked in Hayley Street.
It wasn't a first by any means but it corresponded with an even more violent and longer lasting onslaught on December 20 2018, the most destructive fires on record sweeping in on December 29 2019 then a flood experience in December 2020 that took at least one home.
Maybe time we cancelled late December and moved straight into January.
As we draw to the end of a year memorable for the wrong reasons we can hopefully look forward to a better 2022. Can't we? The year when an ever evolving pandemic pushed wars, famine and other horrors off the news pages (apart from a brief interlude with the Afghanistan disaster). Here in our domain the world moved more and more slowly as if waiting for something to change.
The year of lockdowns, anti-vaxxers, conspiracy clowns. But the pervading dread was lifted when our Lachi Sharp came home from the Tokyo Olympics with a hockey silver medal. Shops failed to survive the lockdowns but it was encouraging to see new ones opening. New life perhaps to go with our new belated Council that mid week elected Maree Statham back to the Mayoral robes with Cass Coleman a first time deputy.
The first serious challenge for the new Council will be dealing with the threat of Sydney garbage being incinerated in our area, a prospect that has many people more worried than the pandemic. Roll on 2022.
Investors love us
REAL estate was one important indicator that things were finally looking up with a trend that began early in the year. Highlighting this the end of year auction of the first stage a new subdivision off the Castlereagh Highway at Lidsdale where in one day 15 blocks were snapped up for a total of almost $5 million. Hotels were hot property even if they hadn't traded in years.
The old Exchange went to a Sydney investor complete with commercial tenants. Another that has long been a pub with no beer, the historic Donnybrook, quickly sold while the nicely refurbished Gaudry (aka The Lithgow) is pleasingly due to re-open with new owners in mid January. Throw in the sale of the Theatre Royal, the Sandford Avenue flats, Lidsdale House, and a huge demand for housing and it seems we've been discovered.
The local rumour mill, by the way, has it that the landmark Royal is to be converted to apartments with a commercial component.
END a gloomy year on a happy note. Get out after dark and enjoy the Christmas lights all over our towns and villages. Merry Christmas to all from the column.